[WSJ] ‘Digital Laundry’ Services Seek to Offer Koreans Clean Slate Online

October 6, 2014

 

"Digital Laundry" services are on the rise in South Korea in order to remove unwanted personal data from the internet (Yonhap)

“Digital Laundry” services are on the rise in South Korea in order to remove unwanted personal data from the internet (Yonhap)

[THE WALL STREET JOURNAL] SEOUL—When Kim Ho-jin first expanded his model and talent agency to offer an online content-deletion service, his motivation was simple: protect clients who were suffering from Internet overexposure.

After witnessing models from his company, Santacruise Casting Co., struggle for years to overcome malicious rumors and inaccurate information about them on the Internet, he decided to help them by asking Naver Corp., Google Inc. and other search engines to remove nasty content found under the models’ names. The requests often worked, and soon others sought Mr. Kim’s help.

Eighteen months into the new business, revenue from data-removal requests accounts for more than half of his 20-year-old company’s sales, and that portion keeps growing. “In the beginning, our main clients were celebrities and entertainers. But now it’s the ordinary people and business leaders that constitute the bulk of our revenues,” he said.

Internet-savvy entrepreneurs have taken stock of Santacruise’s success and are racing to offer similar services, known in South Korea as “digital laundry.”

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